Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
 
Tag:Matt Snyder
Posted on: February 2, 2012 1:21 pm
 

Baseball America names top 100 draft prospects



By Matt Snyder


Baseball America is the authority on the MLB Draft, and the publication has released its top 100 draft prospects for 2012. Mark Appel of Stanford is atop the list.

Appel is a 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher and is a currently a junior at Stanford. He was 6-7 with a 3.02 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 110 1/3 innings last season. He only allowed two home runs all season, which is quite the feat in college.

Lucas Giolito, a right-handed pitcher from Harvard-Westlake High School in California checks in at No. 2 on the list. Outfielder Byron Buxton from Appling County High School in Georgia is third while Deven Marrero (SS, Arizona State) and Mike Zunino (C, Florida) round out the top five. Head over to Baseball America for the full list and subscribers can check out the scouting reports for each of the 100 players.

The Astros have the top pick in this June's draft, followed by the Twins, Mariners, Orioles and Royals.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:55 pm
 

Dipoto responds to fan trade request by letter



By Matt Snyder


Considering the offseason the Angels just had, where they signed Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson within hours of one another, new general manager Jerry Dipoto has to be a fan favorite. And it just keeps getting better.

Have you ever thought about writing a letter to the GM of your favorite team with a trade suggestion? I'd guess through the years most of us die-hard baseball fans have. Well, a fan named Aaron recently wrote Dipoto and actually heard back -- in the form of a personally hand-written response from Dipoto.

Aaron's proposal was to trade Bobby Abreu and Alberto Callaspo to the Orioles for a pair of minor-leaguers who finished last season in High-A ball. My guess is Aaron's thinking it would be a salary dump that could also free a lineup spot for phenom Mike Trout (if Vernon Wells was moved to DH and Mark Trumbo worked out at third). It makes a great deal of sense for the Angels. 

Here was Dipoto's response, via the OC Register:
Aaron,

A quick note to thank you for your recent letter. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and the creative idea you shared. Clearly you have a solid knowledge of the league and potential “players” on the horizon. Unfortunately, trades are always very complex, as you alluded to in your letter. Salaries and finance tend to become an overriding factor.

Know that I do appreciate the suggestion and creativity you’ve shown.

All my best, Jerry Dipoto
That's awesome. Kudos to Dipoto for taking the time to respond to one of his fans. Now he should probably brace for a lot more ideas, since word of this has gotten out.

Hat-tip: Big League Stew

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:19 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2012 12:23 pm
 

Marlins new ballpark nears completion

By Matt Snyder

The new Marlins ballpark continues to get its finishing touches, including the sodding of the field, which just happens to be taking place Thursday. Courtesy of Juan C. Rodriguez, the Sun Sentinel's Marlins beat writer (definitely click through to see a lot more pictures of the stadium), here is a beautiful shot of the field -- which gives our best idea yet of how the park will look during play:



Also, here is a shot -- again, from Rodriguez -- of the aquarium that's behind home plate. It's not directly behind, instead a bit to the side, closer to the dugout.



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 2, 2012 7:43 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 7:55 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part II: OF/DH



By Matt Snyder


As we continue our look at the most cumbersome contracts in baseball, today we'll look at outfielders and designated hitters. We covered the infield and catchers Wednesday and will look at pitchers Friday. As a reminder, we're looking at what is left on the contract, not what the player has been paid through the duration of the deal.

Left Field

Worst: Vernon Wells, Angels
Remaining contract: 3 years, $74 million

Man, this was a tough call because it's a crowded field (see below), but we'll go with Wells because the average annual value remaining on the contract is insane. He hit .218/.248/.412 last season and had a negative WAR, meaning a replacement-level player was better than a guy making over $25 million for the season. At age 33, he could certainly bounce back, but it's hard to see him all of a sudden becoming worth as much money as he's making.

Honorable Mention

Carl Crawford, Red Sox: There are six years and $128 million left on the deal, and I feel like many will argue that Crawford's remaining contract is worse than Wells'. I'm willing to give the 30-year-old Crawford a mulligan for his catastrophic first season in Boston. Next year at this time we'll know a lot more.

Alfonso Soriano, Cubs: Amazingly, he still has three years and $57 million left. Wow.

Jason Bay, Mets: In two seasons for the Mets, Bay has hit .251/.337/.386 (what an ugly slugging percentage for a supposed power hitter) with just 18 homers in 218 games. He still has two years and $36.25 million left, too, in addition to a $3 million buyout should the Mets not pick up his option year.

Center Field

Worst: Alex Rios, White Sox
Remaining Contract: 3 years, $38.5 million

While his teammate got much of the blame last year in terms of the White Sox's shortfall -- and you'll see him below -- Rios was pretty awful himself. He hit .227/.265/.348, which was good for a 65 OPS-plus (if you don't know what that is, trust me, it's embarrassingly bad). He actually posted a negative 1.5 WAR, meaning -- according to the stat -- that he single-handedly cost the White Sox a win and a half just by being in the lineup when he was. And now, thanks to that contract, he's untradeable.

Honorable Mention

Actually, I've got nothing here. Once one-time center fielders' contracts get too big they are usually shoved to the corners. The big-money guys here (Matt Kemp, Curtis Granderson, etc.) are fairly compensated.

Right Field

Worst: Jayson Werth, Nationals
Remaining contract: 6 years, $116 million

Very easy choice. I fully expect a bounce-back season from Werth this year, as several things didn't go his way last season. That being said, the Nationals are paying Werth like he's a superstar all the way until the season in which he turns 38. He wasn't even a superstar his last year in Philadelphia, when he was 31.

Honorable Mention

Nick Markakis, Orioles: There's a reason you only hear about other teams asking for Adam Jones in a trade and not Markakis. The latter is due $43.05 million over the next three seasons while he hit .284 with 15 homers and 73 RBI last season. You need more offense than that from a corner outfielder in order to pay him almost $15 million a year.

Designated Hitter

Worst: Adam Dunn, White Sox.
Remaining contract: 3 years, $44 million

Another easy one. Like Werth, I also expect Dunn to bounce back, but there's no way he can be good enough to earn his full contract over the next three years, especially considering how bad he was last season. He was historically awful with the bat -- there's really no need to rehash the gruesome details at this point -- and that's all he does. And if he does field, his value actually decreases because he's such a butcher with the glove.

Honorable Mention

Travis Hafner, Indians: Nitpicky here, but Pronk will make $13 million this season. He's only averaged 91 games per year the past four seasons. No one else really warrants mention, because Big Papi, for example, is still worth the big bucks.

On the Other Hand ...

Justin Upton, Diamondbacks: Thanks to an early Longoria-type extension, Upton is set to make $46.109 million over the next four seasons. He made just under $4.5 million last season, when he finished fourth in a crowded NL MVP field. Since Upton is only 24, the D-Backs will have to pony up again -- and probably in huge fashion -- to lock him up through his prime, but for now this is a very team-friendly contract.

Special Cases

Bobby Bonilla, Mets: This is both hilarious and sad at the same time. When the Mets bought out Bonilla's $5.9 million contract in 2000, they agreed to repay him with interest starting 11 years later. Beginning July 1, 2011, the Mets are paying Bonilla an annual salary of roughly $1.2 million until 2035. Or around $35 million in all. In 2012, the Mets will pay Bonilla more than the following regulars/rotation members: Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee.

Manny Ramirez, Dodgers: We'll ignore that the Red Sox are paying Manny B. Manny $2 million per year until he's 54 because he helped bring them two World Series titles. But the Dodgers are paying Ramirez $8.33 million in 2012 and 2013. Assuming Clayton Kershaw gets more in arbitration, that means Manny will be the Dodgers' sixth highest-paid player this season. Of course, Frank McCourt is still going to make a billion dollar profit, so ...


Part I: Infielders and catchers
Part III: Pitchers, coming Friday

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:48 pm
 

Juan Cruz signs minor-league deal with Pirates

By Matt Snyder

The Pirates have signed free agent relief pitcher Juan Cruz to a minor-league contract with a spring training invite, the club announced Wednesday afternoon.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

Cruz, 33, will now join his seventh team in 12 big-league seasons, should he make the team. He spent last season with the Rays, where he had the good fortune of going 5-0 -- which, as a reliever doesn't really mean much -- with a 3.88 ERA, 1.32 WHIP and 46 strikeouts in 48 2/3 innings. He's been inconsistent season to season in his career, as Cruz was very effective in 2004 and 2008 while being awful in 2005 and 2009, with several other seasons falling in between.

Should Cruz make the roster, he won't be ticketed for a late-inning role. The Pirates have Joel Hanrahan locked in as the closer with Evan Meek and Jason Grilli setting up.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 10:22 am
 

Reyes to get dreads cut on MLB Network Friday



By Matt Snyder


Bye bye, dreads.

When star shortstop Jose Reyes signed a lucrative contract to play with the Miami Marlins for the next six years, he knew he would have to leave more than his Mets career behind. Per Marlins policy, Reyes' hair is too long and he'll have to hack off the dreads. In and of itself, that's pretty boring news -- you can look at the picture above to get a decent idea of how he'll look, even though that picture was taken back in 2003.

But this is news because Reyes is making an event of cutting his hair.

“It’s official: Jose Reyes will cut off his trademark long hair Friday on the MLB Network. More details to follow,” tweeted Reyes' agent, Chris Leible Tuesday night (via Fish Tank blog).

So, if this sort of thing interests you, watch Reyes' haircut on MLB Network Friday. I can't say I'll be tuning in for that, but hey, to each his own.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Category: MLB
Posted on: February 1, 2012 7:57 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 8:48 am
 

Baseball's worst contracts, Part I: IF/C



By Matt Snyder


This past weekend I posted a blog about Joe Mauer feeling healthy so far this offseason and in the comments section a small discussion about bad contracts broke out. So, I figured, why not sort through all the contracts in baseball and come up with some of the worst? We're still more than two weeks from pitchers and catchers reporting, but it would be shocking to see a free agent sign for a contract that would rank among the worst in baseball -- considering the players left unsigned. So the timing works well. Let's check it out and discuss, shall we? If there's one thing baseball fans love, it's arguing.

We'll go at this in three different parts. First (now) is infielders and catchers, Thursday we'll look at the outfielders and designated hitters while Friday is pitchers.

One last note before we proceed. The way baseball's salary structure is set up, the overwhelming majority of the players can't make big bucks -- relatively speaking, of course -- until they've been in the league for about three years. Then there is arbitration, so they aren't free agents for another few years. So, most of the time, the overpaid players were underpaid -- again, relatively speaking -- when they were young studs. So you could argue it evens out. And I would in many cases. I also don't begrudge any of them for making gobs of money to play a game. They have a special talent that people pay to watch. They deserve a huge cut. So let's just try to stay on topic here, OK? Great. Let's dive in.

Catcher

Worst: Joe Mauer, Twins
Remaining contract: 7 years, $161 million

Mauer is obviously coming off a disastrous season and should improve greatly in the next few years. That being said, his health issues throughout 2011 were a bit of a wakeup call on how bad that contract will likely prove to be. He has to remain behind the plate to be worth anywhere close to $23 million per season, and what are the chances that he stays productive and healthy as a full-time catcher for the next seven years? If he moves to first base, he's a well-below average power hitter at the position and that harms the offense as a whole. While Mauer is certainly a stand-up guy and a hometown hero, it's hard to see this contract coming close to paying off for Minnesota in the end.

Honorable Mention
Victor Martinez, Tigers: This one is mitigated by the fact that the Tigers have insurance (that will reportedly pay almost half), but he's still owed $38 million over the next three seasons. In fairness to the Tigers, though, this wasn't really a bad deal when signed. They didn't know he'd get badly hurt and they'd then sign Prince Fielder to a gargantuan contract. It's just that there aren't really any other bad catcher contracts. I'm even cheating by putting Martinez here because he's predominantly a DH. I just had to list someone here.

First Base

Worst: Ryan Howard, Phillies
Remaining contract: 5 years, $125 million

The achillies injury wasn't taken significantly into account because there's no way the Phillies knew that was coming. Still, this deal was signed in April of 2010 but is just now kicking in for the start of the 2012 season. We're talking about a guy who hit .253 and only had a .488 slugging percentage last season. Jose Reyes and Shane Victorino had higher marks in slugging, which is a power stat. The 33 home runs and 116 RBI look good, but Howard is set to make $25 million per season for the next five years. He also hit just .105 with a .263 slugging percentage in the 2011 NLDS, where the Phillies lost in five games to the Cardinals due predominantly to a lack of offense. When Howard is 36 and making $25 million, it'll be an albatross of a contract.

Honorable Mention
Albert Pujols, Angels: It's actually a huge bargain for the next two seasons, when Pujols will make a combined $28 million, but by the time you get to age 42 and $30 million per year, it's pretty rough. The Angels are counting on having already made their money by then. And they very well might do so, which is why he's only in "honorable mention." We'll see.

Prince Fielder, Tigers: Similar to Pujols, the nine-year, $214 million deal doesn't look bad until several years down the road. We'll see, part two.

Mark Teixeira, Yankees: Teixiera is similar to Howard in several ways. He is actually coming off back-to-back seasons of sub-.500 slugging percentages (Howard was only below in '11) while getting most of his value from home runs and RBI, the latter of which is a team stat. The difference is Teixeira is a great defender and is owed slightly less ($115 million and change in five years). And he is completely healthy, which bodes better in his chances to right the ship these next few years.

Second Base

Worst: Dan Uggla
Remaining contract: 4 years, $52.8 million

Uggla salvaged what could have been an awful 2011 season by getting insanely hot in the second half. He ended with a career-high 36 homers, but that's about all that looks good, on the whole. He hit .233/.311/.453 with 156 strikeouts, poor defense and a career-low 22 doubles. He'll be 35 in the final year of his contract.

Honorable Mention
Chase Utley, Phillies: Past performance means he's probably earned this, but $30.575 million for the next two seasons seems awfully high for a 33-year-old coming off a .259/.344/.425 season.

Brian Roberts, Orioles: Let's just hope he finds a way to recover from all the post-concussion symptoms for the sake of his quality of life. The Orioles have far bigger problems than the $20 million Roberts will make the next two seasons.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Twins: OK, so $6 million for two seasons isn't much money to any team in the majors, but Nishioka was probably the worst position player in baseball last year and it's hard to see any improvement.

Shortstop

Worst: Jose Reyes, Marlins
Remaining contract: 6 years, $106 million

I don't think this was an awful signing at all, from a certain point of view. The Marlins wanted to make a splash and Reyes is the type of player that can single-handedly energize an entire lineup ... when he's in it. Yep, there's that qualifier and that's why he's here. Leg injuries -- on a player who relies on speed -- have limited Reyes to 295 games the past three seasons. Can he stay healthy for the next six? That's a tall order. Again, though, I don't think this one is egregious, and it's possible he ends up well worth the money. It's just that there aren't many bad contracts at shortstop and this represents a huge risk.

Honorable Mention
Derek Jeter, Yankees: What he means to the franchise -- in addition to how much money the Yankees can afford to spend -- says this deal isn't hurting anyone at all. But if you look at what he's likely to provide in the next two seasons, there's no way it's worth the $33 million Jeter is owed. Again, though, Jeter has earned the "pension," if you will, by this point in his legendary career.

Third Base

Worst: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
Remaining contract: 6 years, $149 million

If A-Rod hit the free agent market right now, what would he get ... half that contract? He's 36, he hasn't played in more than 138 games since 2007 and is coming off a season where he hit .276/.362/.461. I have no doubt if he stays healthy he has another two or even three great seasons left in him, but he's set to make at least $20 million during the season in which he turns 42.

Also, there are marketing bonuses in the contract for several home-run milestones from A-Rod's 660th to 763rd home runs (he currently has 629). It's probably not worth getting into in this space, because if A-Rod actually breaks the home run record, the Yankees will be rolling in the promotional dough from the event(s) and aftermath.

Honorable Mention
Brandon Inge, Tigers: When the Tigers signed Fielder and announced Miguel Cabrera was moving to third base, it made Inge a $5.5-million backup for the 2012 season.

On the other hand ...

Evan Longoria, Rays: Even if the Rays pick up all their club options on Longoria -- which they surely will, barring major injury -- the All-Star third baseman is only owed $40.5 million over the next five seasons. He's only 26 years old and already has two Gold Gloves, 113 career homers, an .874 career OPS and three postseason appearances in just four seasons. He's received MVP votes in all four of his seasons at the majors. He'll make $4.5 million in 2012 while A-Rod will make $29 million. Now that is a club-friendly contract, one that is surely the envy of general managers -- and certainly owners -- across the league.

Next

Thursday: OF/DH

Friday: Pitchers

Source for all figures was Cot's Baseball Contracts

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: January 31, 2012 5:53 pm
Edited on: January 31, 2012 6:03 pm
 

Livan Hernandez signs with Astros

By Matt Snyder

Free agent pitcher Livan Hernandez has signed with the Astros, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman has confirmed. The news was first reported by Fox Sports.

FREE AGENT TRACKER

The Astros seemed to have their starting five set in Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Jordan Lyles, but perhaps they'll make a trade or get the 21-year-old Lyles some more seasoning in Triple-A. I say this because signing Hernandez for anything other than the purpose of being a back-end-of-the-rotation innings eater wouldn't make much sense. The one thing he still does well is log innings.

Hernandez, 36, was 8-13 with a 4.47 ERA and 1.40 WHIP in 175 1/3 innings last season for the Nationals. He would have surely hit 200 innings had the Nats not pulled him from the rotation in early September to make room for Stephen Strasburg.

In 2010, Hernandez was 10-12 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 211 2/3 innings. He's logged 3,121 2/3 regular-season innings in his 16-season big-league career.

In addition to the Hernandez and the other five pitchers mentioned above, the Astros also have Henry Sosa, Kyle Weiland, Zach Duke and highly-touted prospect Jarred Cosart in the mix.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com